Texas Voter ID Law BLOCKED

A federal court has blocked a controversial new Texas voter ID law, asserting that “the state failed to show that the law would not harm the voting rights of minorities.”

Texas is just one of many states that have tried to pass voter ID laws that many – including activists and the Justice Department – believe will disenfranchise minority voters.

Proponents of the laws argue that they are needed to combat voter fraud. But on Thursday, the three-judge panel hearing the case were not convinced.

More Evidence that Stop-and-Frisk is Racially Motivated

Not that we needed more evidence, but a new map shows that the NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk tactic is race-based and ineffective in getting actual criminal off the streets.

The map shows that of the 770 guns confiscated by NYPD through the Stop-and-Frisk initiative, most of those guns were not taken in places where the tactic is executed most:

Only 770 guns were recovered from 685,000 NYPD Stop-and-Frisk stops across the city last year, according to WNYC. And those guns are not showing up in the places where the police are devoting the most stop-and-frisk resources.

REPORT: Minority Students Underrepresented at Top-Tier Universities

According to a recent study by Stanford University’s Center for Education Policy Analysis, Black and Latino students are underrepresented at highly selective colleges.

The study analyzed race, income, and enrollment patterns at America’s top Universities from 1982-2004.

Even after accounting for income disparities, white students were five times as likely as black students to enroll at a top-tier university, and two-three times as likely to gain admission.

Rhymefest Talks to BYP About THE PLEDGE Mixtape: “Hip Hop Can Be Used as a Tool, Or A Weapon”

Chuck D once said that Hip Hop is the CNN of the black community.

It was a compelling comparison, and certainly an apt one. But as the genre moved wholeheartedly into mainstream territory, it started looking more like Fox News; one-sided, divorced from reality, and serving the financial and ideological interests of elites.

The Black Youth Project and Power of Purpose hope to change all of that with the release of The Pledge Mixtape; a 13-song compilation of various artists taking back their communal power through music. The mixtape’s release will coincide with the launch of BYP’s Pledge Campaign; a call for individuals and organizations to close ranks around black youth, and make a commitment to fight with black youth as they confront a relentless crisis.

As executive producer of the project, Grammy-winning Hip Hop artist and activist Che “Rhymefest” Smith hopes the compilation will inspire other artists to use Hip Hop music as a tool for social change in a city that has a murder rate worse than U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Judge Grants ‘Stop and Frisk’ Lawsuit Class Action Status

US District Judge Shira Sheindlin of Manhattan has granted class action status to a 2008 lawsuit accusing the NYPD of discriminating against blacks and Hispanics with its “Stop and Frisk” program.

In her ruling, Sheindlin  asserts that there is overwhelming evidence that the “Stop and Frisk” program has led to countless illegal stops, and that a class action is the proper means by which victims can have legal recourse.

The lawsuit asserts that the NYPD consciously centered their “Stop and Frisk” program on communities of color, illegally stopping many innocent people in order to meet qoutas.

REPORT: Juveniles Sentenced to LIFE w/o Parole Face Racial Disparities, Harsher Punishments

According to a new report released by the Sentencing Project, juveniles sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole are subject to socioeconomic and racial disparities, corrections policies that inhibit rehabilitation, and harsher punishments than comparable adults.

The United States is the only country in the world that sentences juveniles to life in prison without parole. Due to an inability to navigate the justice system at such a young age, juveniles often reject plea agreements that many adults take. Thus, juveniles are often sentenced to harsher punishments than adults with similar offenses.

REPORT: Black Youth Receive HARSHER Treatment In Juvenile Court Systems

According to a scathing report released yesterday by the Justice Department, the Memphis and Shelby County juvenile justice system routinely treats black youth more harshly than their white counterparts.

The report states that black youth are “treated disparately in almost all phases of the juvenile court process;” they are twice as likely to be detained, less likely to receive warnings or leniency, and are more likely to be sent to criminal court and tried as adults. The report also found that black youth received harsher treatment even if their grades or criminal histories were better than their white peers.